Review: Elle Kennedy’s The Risk

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Alright, y’all – I loved this one. I’ve been eyeing up The Risk for quite some time now. Elle Kennedy is one of my favorite New Adult authors, and I fell absolutely in love with her Off Campus series. So I was super excited for her new series, Briar U. The first book in the series (The Chase) was also really good (hopefully will have a review on that one up soon!), but this one (the second) was amazing.

spoiler free review: There was a lot that I loved. First, Brenna was an amazing heroine. She was so confident and headstrong, and I loved that about her. Her perspective felt honest and refreshing. Jake is probably one of my favorite heroes (although basically no one can top Garrett from The Deal – sorry). Enemies-to-lovers tropes are always one of my favorites. Throw in some hockey, fun friendships, fake dating, and complicated family back stories and I am all in. Essentially this book was witty, fun, and it made my heart swoon. I think one of the reasons that I loved this one even more than the first in the series is that this book was somewhat slow-burn. Not as slow as say a Mariana Zapata book, but I loved the build up between the two characters and the push and pull of their friendship. Overall, I give this one a 5/5.

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get more info: Visit Elle Kennedy’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find The Chase on Amazon; find The Risk on Amazon; find The Deal on Amazon

If you’re looking for more on Elle Kennedy – read my mashup contemporary authors post.

The Risk is the second book in Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series. It is classified as New Adult. The Risk can be read as a standalone; however, I would suggest reading The Chase first so you’re introduced to all of the characters (and get to read another fun romance). Elle Kennedy is set to release the third book in the series, The Play, on October 7, 2019.

spoilers ahead: I really loved the chemistry between Jake and Brenna. I am an (admitted) sucker for the fake relationship trope, so as soon as Brenna proposed that her and Jake fake dating for her job – I was sold. There was something just…magnetic about the push and pull between them.

I will say that I wanted to bang my head on something when Brenna gave the bracelet to Jake’s friend assuming she would just give it to him…arg!! His friend’s motives were questionable at best and I was having anxiety thinking the bracelet wouldn’t make it to him. Luckily it worked out, but Brenna was so naive in that moment and I was screaming.

I honestly just can’t say nice enough things about this one. I love Elle Kennedy and think she’s an amazing writer. I cannot wait until her new release in October. GO BUY THIS BOOK!

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links.

Review: P. Dangelico’s Nothing But Trouble

Nothing But Trouble is my first read from P. Dangelico, and I found that I really like her writing style. Thank you to Netgalley and the author for allowing me to read an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

Nothing But Trouble follows two leads – Alice and Reagan. Alice is an aspiring filmmaker and she’s busting her butt to make her experience at Malibu University a successful one. Unfortunately for Alice, her experience gets a bit more difficult after a near-collision with a car results in her having a severely sprained ankle (and that’s one emergency room visit she cannot afford). Did I mention Reagan, future med-student and water polo star, was driving? Desperate to make things right, Reagan is determined to make Alice’s life easier until her ankle heals. Will Reagan change his stance on being anti-relationship for his senior year? And will Alice let down her guard enough to see if this really is a case of opposites attract?

spoiler free: So this is a cute new adult romance. It has the recipe to make it successful. A compelling story that forces the two leads together, slow-burn romance, college sports, and a case of complicated, intense family dynamics. This definitely was not a surface level new adult contemporary for me. That is usually one of my biggest gripes – that I don’t feel connected to the characters because there is a lack of emotional depth. That was not the case here. Both characters, but especially Reagan, had a complicated backstory and damn the ending was very emotional. It’ll yank at anyone’s heartstrings.

Overall, this is a 3/5 for me. I liked the story and I loved the emotional depth that P. Dangelico poured into her characters. I love that this is a series, because I didn’t feel like the side characters really had a chance to shine – so it’ll be nice to get to know them more throughout the series. The reason why this isn’t rated higher is for two reasons. There were two instances in which the hero character, Reagan, behaved in a manner that I just could not get behind. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I just wasn’t pleased with some of his actions and especially not at the last 5% of the book. But, overall, if you’re looking for a new adult romance with some substance, I would check this one out. I will definitely be reading more P. Dangelico in the future.

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get more info: visit P. Dangelico’s website; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Nothing but Trouble on Amazon

Nothing but Trouble is the first book in P. Dangelico’s new series Malibu University. It is a new adult romance, and it publishes on March 26, 2019. It is available for pre-order now.

spoilers ahead: Ok so let’s talk about the vague events that I mentioned above that held me back from loving this one. One was the scene in which Regan kisses a rando purposefully, in front of Alice to make her jealous/to see if she cares(?) This just felt so silly to me. I think it was clear that she showed up to the party for him so the added kiss felt unnecessary. I know it technically wasn’t cheating…but I didn’t like it anyway.

However, the bigger issue I had here was the ending. *smacks head with palm* Yikes. The hero character disappears for four months. The only goodbye he gives the heroine is a note. Bigger yikes. Then he comes back and she forgives him after about thirty seconds. Biggest YIKES. I’m all for the downfall moment right before the characters get back together again and even I love some groveling from time to time. But here…it just felt so unnatural for your boyfriend to basically disappear for four months, and then you’re just like ok cool you’re back. Alice was so strong in the beginning of the book, and I felt she lost some of that in the end. Of course I wanted her to forgive him/for them to get back together. I just didn’t want it to happen so fast/easily.

Anyway – those are my two issues with this one! I still liked Nothing But Trouble overall and will be checking out more of this author in the future.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. Netgalley and the publisher were kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: R.S. Grey’s Make Me Bad

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I was so fortunate to receive R.S. Grey’s newest release as an ARC. I’ve been sitting on this review for a week and I’m so happy to announce it is finally out!

It’s Madison’s birthday, and her only birthday wish is for her life to have some excitement. Perhaps she shouldn’t have been so vague, because her life gets a whole lot more exciting after an introduction with the town’s wealthy, “bad boy,” Ben. Madison is tired of living her life by the safe harbor, so she asks Ben to help her break out of her shell – to make her bad.

spoiler free:  Make Me Bad had me hooked from the very first chapter, or more accurately, the very first sentence. R.S. Grey is one of my auto-buy authors. I know when I’m reading one of her books I’m getting a witty, laugh-out-loud, steamy book with great emotional depth. R.S. Grey is rom-com at its absolute best, and Make Me Bad was no exception. In fact, this is my favorite R.S. Grey book to date. Ben is so swoon-worthy.  Madison’s character growth was amazing! I was her biggest cheerleader. I saw so much of myself in her. Add in a slow-burn romance and a little bit of danger – I’m sold.

Overall, this is definitely a 5/5 read from me. But, don’t take my word for it. Go and read it yourself!

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R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including The Foxe and the Hound. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Make Me Bad is R.S. Grey’s newest novel, and it released on March 7, 2019.

get more info: visit R.S. Grey’s website; sign up for the author’s newsletter; connect with the author’s Facebook group; connect with the author on Instagram; connect with the author on Twitter; find Make Me Bad on Amazon

If you want to hear more about why R.S. Grey is one of my favorite new adult authors, read here.

spoilers here: I can’t get over the beginning few chapters of this book. The fact that Madison being held up at gun point still managed to be funny to me says something about the quality of R.S. Grey’s writing. Plus, one of Madison’s first thoughts was to protect her new book, and I’ve never related to a character more.

I loved Maddie’s character arc. I love how she realized that she didn’t need anyone else to make her into the person she wants to be. She has that power within her all on her own. Very empowering message. Plus, the epilogue just filled my heart. It is seriously so sweet.

Overall, I can’t recommend Make Me Bad enough. A full 5/5 rom-com. If you’re looking for more R.S. Grey recs, start with Hotshot Doc, Arrogant Devil or The Foxe and the Hound – three of my favorites. Stay tuned for a future post where I blog a mashup post (quickly) reviewing all the R.S. Grey books!

What rom-coms are you reading? Did y’all enjoy Make Me Bad?

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. The author was kind enough to provide me an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Dana Mason’s Accidental Groom

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I was able to read my first Dana Mason book this week thanks to NetGalley and Bookouture who provided me an advanced copy of Accidental Groom in exchange for my honest review. Thank you, thank you!!

Accidental Groom is the first book in the Accidental Love series. This book tells the story of two strangers – Kelley and Mac. Their connection to one another is instant and their chemistry is pretty off the charts. Both leads have somewhat intense backstories, yet they are drawn to each other. Their relationship begins with a fun “no strings attached” weekend together. But, 24 hours after arriving – they’re (accidentally) married. Enter the will-they-or-won’t-they.

Ok there was a lot that I loved here. First, the novel was well written and the dialogue was fun and felt very fresh. There were bits of dialogue that I actually found myself laughing out loud. My favorite thing about Accidental Groom though was Mac’s backstory. It felt so refreshing to have a male love interest with a complicated backstory, especially one that I can honestly say that I haven’t seen in new adult romance. I loved the way that this particular issue was explored throughout the book and how it attributed to both characters’ growth. The backstory wasn’t a quick fix and it was something Mac took responsibility of his past and the decisions that he made. (I don’t want to spoil it – it was great going in and not knowing!)

I am very curious to see who the second book in the series is going to be about. I’m hoping it’s Mac’s sister. (*fingers crossed*) I will definitely be continuing this series and keeping Dana Mason on my radar. Overall, this one gets a 5/5 from me.

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Accidental Groom is a new adult contemporary, and it releases on April 2nd, 2019. It is available for pre-order now.

get more info: Visit Dana Mason’s website; Pre-order Accidental Groom on Amazon; connect with the author on Twitter; connect with the author on Facebook; connect with the author on Instagram

spoilers ahead: Ok so first I wanna say that I totally bought in to the (somewhat) insta-love. Sometimes this can bother me in a story, but here I was all in. I think one of the reasons why is that the author wrote it so well. I loved the scene where Mac leaves to go get food, but basically he’s just having a panic attack. He loves Kelley, but it takes him awhile to understand these feelings are love. I love that he shows that he’s overwhelmed – he’s not freaking out because he doesn’t want/love her, he’s just dealing with an overwhelming change in life.

I also love how the author handled Mac’s alcoholism. The scene where he picked up the drink – ugh I felt like my heart was pounding. I loved how she wrote the scene where he tells Kelley that it’s his responsibility and no one is responsible for his relapse. He just really owns his shit, and it was so refreshing. The scene where he calls his sponsor – the way the author writes his tone of voice, his actions – it all felt so real. I have unfortunately seen addiction first hand, and I could really relate to this scene.

Overall – this was a complex new adult contemporary. It’s steamy, it’s romantic, but it’s also filled with complicated characters. It mimics life in the best way. Please give this one a try – go and pre-order it! Let me know if you’ve read any other Dana Mason books.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links. Netgalley and the publisher were kind enough to provide me a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

Review: Sally Thorne’s 99 Percent Mine

screenshot2019-01-31at9.40.10pmWhat to know before reading:
99 Percent Mine is a New Adult Romance novel. I would classify this as 17 years+ for readers.

Trigger warnings include: loss of a loved one, alcoholism, assault (unwanted grabbing of wrist) a serious chronic heart condition, cursing throughout the book.

Representation: If I recall correctly, all characters are cis and white.

Overview: I read Sally Thorne’s new release, 99 Percent Mine, in a day. One thing that you’ll get to learn about me is that I love a good contemporary romance. So, I originally fell in love with Sally Thorne when I read her debut novel, The Hating Game. I loved it (and also finished it in day.) So, when I heard about 99 Percent Mine I freaked out and per-ordered it that day. Then I patiently waited. (Well, ok, maybe not patiently. Let’s just say I waited.)

Going into 99 Percent Mine I had high expectations because I loved The Hating Game so much. But once I read the excerpt for 99 Percent Mine, I knew I wouldn’t be disappointed. Darcy Barrett, the main character, is in love with her twin brother’s best friend since childhood, Tom. Both Darcy and her twin, Jamie, inherit a cottage from their grandmother, which needs flipped before they can sell it. Enter Tom, house-flipper, who’s recently single. Darcy decides to stick around to oversee the renovations and well, maybe also because after all these years, she’s still in love with Tom.

First, I love house flipping. Flip or Flop, anyone? Second, I love a good “forbidden” romance. Add in Sally Thorne’s slow burn style romance and I couldn’t run to the mailbox fast enough to get my hands on it.

spoiler free review: I really enjoyed 99 Percent Mine. I’ll start out with what I loved. Sally Thorne has this amazing and unique writing style that makes it easy to fly through the book. More than her writing style though, she writes the most amazing, strong female main characters. 99 Percent Mine is told through Darcy Barrett’s point of view and man, she does not disappoint. She’s funny, headstrong, and free-spirited.

The romance is slow-burn, which is always my favorite. The tension slow-burn creates always has me speed-reading. I literately cannot handle the build up between the two main characters! Sally Thorne certainly delivered slow-burn. I always appreciate the happy ending more when I feel like I/the main characters really worked for it, as silly as that may sound.

99 Percent Mine certainly had it’s romantic moments, but it was also so funny. Darcy had amazing comebacks and one liners. I wanted to be her real life friend and invite her out to drinks. She was just so cool.

Plus, Darcy’s interactions with her love interest/childhood friend, Tom, were very sweet and, well, very steamy. I found it was a great mix for a romantic comedy.

Now onto some things I didn’t love. I found the first part of the book a little slow (I guess up until the third chapter). I’m not sure if it’s because I was comparing it to The Hating Game, which grabbed me right from the beginning, but I felt like it took awhile the our main leads to interact and for me to get invested in their relationship. Plus, I felt like most of the scenes could have been cut a little bit. I found myself thinking that sometimes the scenes dragged a little, and the entire book could have been sharper/packed more of a punch if it had been edited down. But like I said, once I got into it, the rest of the story flew by.

There were also some plot points that I took issue with. There just seemed to be a few loose threads hanging that I really wish had gotten answered. Some of the character’s actions, I felt like I didn’t really understand, and we never really got these motivations resolved. (See more in depth in the spoiler section at the bottom!)

Overall, I did enjoy 99 Percent Mine. It was a funny, cute, romantic contemporary and I really had fun with it. I will say, I did not enjoy it as much as The Hating Game, and would definitely recommend The Hating Game over 99 Percent Mine. (In that regard, 99 Percent Mine does include an epilogue to The Hating Game, which is definitely worth it to check in with those characters again and get a glimpse into life after the HEA.) However, 99 Percent Mine did have some plot issues that made me feel a bit less connected and invested to these main characters. Ultimately I would give it a 3.5/5 stars. I liked it and I would recommend it.

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get more info: visit Sally Thorne’s website; connect with the author on Twitter; connect with the author on Instagram; find 99 Percent Mine on Amazon; find The Hating Game on Amazon

99 Percent Mine is Sally Thorne’s second novel. It is a contemporary romance, and it was published in January 2019.

spoilers ahead: Ok, let’s talk. There are still some lingering questions that I have. To start, what is up with Tom’s engagement? He was in love with Darcy for years yet just casually was engaged/in a relationship for YEARS? He seems so dismissive of his previous relationship and just casually writes it off, but it feels so bizarre that this isn’t addressed more in depth.

Also, Darcy’s drinking (problem?) It appears throughout the book that Darcy has been heavily drinking, since she found out about Tom’s engagement. So, like, a long while. Then when the main characters get together, it’s completely forgotten about. I feel like for her drinking to be mentioned/seen so many times, and then just so easily resolved seemed a bit unrealistic.

One thing that really bothered me was the characterization of Jamie. He was a total ass throughout the book. I know, I know – siblings fight. But his comments felt unnecessarily cruel, and it made it difficult to want him to be a part of the HEA at the end.

Perhaps my biggest problem, though, was Tom just bailing at the end. I understand he was frustrated.  Trust me, I think I would have been equally mad especially at the two sibling’s behavior. But he just completely deserts his business and just gives up. For a character that has constantly been referred to as stable and dependable, it felt very out of character. Or perhaps his behavior just wasn’t explained thoroughly enough for me to get it as a reader.

With that being said, I really did enjoy the book. It was funny and sweet. There was definitely steamy build up between the main characters, and even though it had its slow moments, overall it was a quick page turner. Even though this book just released, I’m already excited to see what Sally Thorne does next! Comment and let me know what you thought of 99 Percent Mine.

This post is not sponsored. All opinions are my own. All links provided are for your convenience only – none are affiliate links.